April 23rd, 2024

Standoff man to resolve drug charges

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 49-year-old Standoff man who was set to be sentenced nearly a year ago for drug offences, but failed to attend his sentencing hearing, is now scheduled to resolve his charges later this month.
An arrest warrant was issued for Lloyd Avery Good Rider after he never showed up for court last April. He had pleaded guilty in 2020 to two charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, and following a sentencing hearing in February of last year, promised to return to be sentenced on April 3, but never did.
Good Rider, who is currently in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, was in Lethbridge court of justice Thursday, where defence pointed out Good Rider had been enrolled in drug treatment court but didn’t complete it. He’s now scheduled to resolve his charges on March 22.
Before he went AWOL, the Crown was seeking a sentence of two and a half years in a federal penitentiary. Duty counsel lawyer Brett Carlson had hoped the judge would give Good Rider an 18-month conditional sentence, the first nine months of which he would be under house arrest, followed by nine months of curfew. He could also be placed on probation and be required to take grief counselling and treatment for his addictions, Carlson suggested.
Good Rider’s charges stem from an incident in November of 2020 when police were called to a hotel in Cardston where individuals were reportedly in medical distress.
Good Rider and several others were in one of the rooms, where police found Good Rider in possession of methamphetamine and Fentanyl. They also found a small quantity of the drugs on a nearby table.
“He admitted that he provided these substances in exchange for goods, in addition to fuelling his own addiction,” Crown Prosecutor Alisa Webber explained during the sentencing hearing last year.
Webber said the gravity of drug offences is high because of the significant harm they cause, particularly from fentanyl, which is a highly addictive opioid. That harm was evident at the hotel where individuals had overdosed and required emergency medical help.
Webber said that even though trafficking-related offences often warrant sentences of three or more years in prison, she recommended a sentence of two and a half years, given the mitigating factors in the case.
“While Mr. Goodrider was engaged in commercial trafficking, in the Crown’s view, it was minimal, and bordering on social trafficking.”
Webber also noted that while Good Rider didn’t accept full responsibility for his offences at the time, he pleaded guilty and saved the time and cost of running a trial. He was also a suitable candidate for rehabilitation given his efforts to change after he was arrested.
However, Webber pointed out Good Rider has a lengthy criminal record, and the “toxic cocktail” he provided at the hotel resulted in overdoses.
Carlson said Good Rider grew up around alcohol and violence in his home until he was about 21 years old, then his parents stopped drinking and became a significant support for their son, especially when he entered drug treatment court. However, he lost that support when his parents died.

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